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Understanding the MEAN Stack

"MEAN" in the coding world is a term used to refer to a full-stack, user-friendly JavaScript framework typically used to build dynamic applications and websites. It's a form of open-source, free stack that's intended to help growing and professional developers access a range of powerful resources for creating prototypes in their MEAN-based applications. One of the things that makes the MEAN stack so compelling, is the fact that it uses JavaScript on every level, making it one of the most modern and efficient solutions for web development.

If you're looking to learn more about web development, then it's generally a good idea to start with an insight into the MEAN stack. After all, it's hard to accomplish much on the web without a solid understanding of JavaScript, which is the language that runs the complete MEAN stack and delivers one of the most active developer communities in the world. Because all of the components of MEAN are written in the same language, it allows developers to access both server-side and client-side solutions for applications.

Unravelling the MEAN Stack

As we mentioned above, the MEAN stack is an open-source, free, and user-friendly full-stack solution for people who want to use a JavaScript framework to build dynamic applications and websites. MEAN stacks make use of a range of different solutions, including Mongo DB, Express, Angular JS, and of course, Node.JS. All these components stacked together provide developers with a more organised method for using and developing MEAN-based apps with modules like Passport and Mongoose already pre-configured.

To give you a better understanding of what MEAN is, and what it can be used for, we need to peel back the layers a little more and see what's going on underneath the MEAN acronym.

  • M: MongoDB: The "M" in MEAN stands for MongoDB, which is the world's most popular cross-platform NoSQL database. Designed to give businesses the power that they need to be more scalable and agile, MongoDB is used around the world today by a range of powerful services and websites, including eBay and Craigslist.
  • E: Express.JS: The "E" in MEAN is for Express.JS, which is a flexible, and minimal web application which works on Node.JS. The Express system delivers a wide range of features that make it easier to design multi-page, single-page and hybrid solutions.
  • A: AngularJS: The "A" in MEAN is for AngularJS, which is an open-source framework supported by Google, which helps developers to expand the HTML vocabulary for their application even further- resulting in an environment that's expressive, readable, reliable, and quick to develop.
  • N: Node.JS: The "N" in MEAN stands for "Node.JS", which is the platform built on the JavaScript runtime service in Chrome. It enables quick and scalable network solutions.

Why is MEAN so popular?

If you're new to web development, you might not know much about MEAN yet. However, it doesn't take a lot of research to show that MEAN has become one of the most powerful development stacks in the world. In fact, it's a solution that most people consider to be more effective than "LAMP" a similar acronym that was only created a few years ago before the solutions in MEAN were gaining popularity.

There are plenty of reasons why people enjoy the benefits of MEAN, however, the most significant factor is that MEAN is great for simplicity. With MEAN, developers can:

  • Use a single and effective framework language (JavaScript) to create both client-side and server-side environments in web development
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the JavaScript language, which is used around the world
  • Quickly and accurately improve their development times
  • Access unrivaled support from industry leaders around the world.
  • Make the most of open-source solutions that can be tweaked according to preference

All the frameworks within the MEAN stack speak the JavaScript language. That means that the data involved flows within the layers without the need for any rewriting or reformatting. While LAMP developers need to convert with library workarounds, MEAN stacks eliminate confusion and save time for developers.

Another significant benefit to consider when you're thinking about learning the MEAN stack is the fact that Node.JS delivers a great deal of simplification and speed to developers. For a lot of developers, any opportunity to shave seconds off your app performance could be enough to transform your bottom line. Node.JS has recently been proven to be far faster than other options like Apache. Not only is the solution speedier, but it accomplishes more too. All you need to do to make a big change is sprinkle some extra JavaScript into the mix.

Another thing to consider is that MEAN has support for many of the big players in the current environment. For instance, MongoDB is the leading NoSQL provider, and Azure and Amazon Web Services both currently support Node.JS. At the same time, Google supports AngularJS too.

Should You Learn the MEAN Stack?

Learning the MEAN stack is a big decision for developers to make, but there are a lot of benefits to expanding your skills with this stack. Not only is it the most popular option on the market today, but it's also brimming with opportunities. For instance. The MEAN stack offers solutions like:

  • Better employability for developers: Today, more employers than ever before are in need of engineers that should be familiar with the MEAN stack, and other JavaScript technologies. Learning this stack could make life easier for a lot of web developers, whether they want to be employed, or go freelance.
  • Simplicity: For most developers, it's much easier to build applications and websites that revolve around a single language. Because the MEAN stack focuses entirely on JavaScript, it can be very straightforward.
  • Adaptability: Because the common language of the MEAN stack (JavaScript) is very adaptable, it's something that can be used for a range of different applications.
  • Simpler Data: Because MEAN uses some of the most common data types available on the web, it's easy to send data to different devices around the world.

Additionally, MEAN has an active community that's great for updating new and improved technology for developers.

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